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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Florida

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Largo Man Convicted At Trial For Accessing Child Pornography On The Internet

Tampa, FL – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces that a federal jury today found Eric Thomas (37, Largo) guilty of access with the intent to view child pornography. Thomas faces a maximum penalty of ten years in federal prison. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for September 18, 2014. He was remanded to the custody of the United States Marshals Service pending sentencing. Thomas was indicted on September 30, 2013.

According to the testimony and evidence presented at trial, on July 21, 2012, Thomas’s then wife discovered evidence that Thomas had been looking at child pornography on the Internet, using the couple’s home computer. Law enforcement obtained a search warrant for the computer.  A forensic review revealed that more than 850 images of child pornography had been deleted from the computer. Thomas had taken considerable steps to conceal his activities by removing the Internet history and the child pornography files from his computer.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Largo Police Department, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Jennifer L. Peresie and Josephine W. Thomas.

It is another case brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims.  For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

Updated January 26, 2015